Banner Student Implementation Project
Monthly Report: November
The Banner Project teams maintained steady progress in November. All of the project
teams were successful in staying on track in terms of the project schedule. The two
modules in production, Admission and Financial Aid, are using Banner in their day-to-
day work, and resolving Banner problems as they arise.
Banner Team updates:
Admission: As in October, the Admission Team’s work this month focused on
resolving production problems and developing new reports in Banner. It has been
something of an up-and-down month, as unexpected difficulties cropped up and were
resolved. But the team ended the month strongly, with confidence that production
issues will continue to be managed successfully. For undergraduate admission, a
critical date is December 14, when early decision applicants will receive admission
decisions through Banner. CIS conducted the first rounds of performance testing,
which tests the ability of our systems to respond effectively when about 2,000 users
seek access almost simultaneously; the results support Admission’s readiness for the
early decision announcements. The Admission team remains behind on report
development and the Project Management Team has developed strategies to provide
more support resources to the team.
Financial Aid: The Financial Aid Team successfully completed an upgrade of the
software in November and is now fully operational in Banner. Like Admission,
Financial Aid is working on production issues, training, and report development. The
team’s task initiation and completion rates in November were excellent.
Registration and Records: The next major milestones in the Banner project will occur in Registration and Records. Task initiation and completion rates were very
strong in November. The team neared completion of the first milestone, the
catalogue/schedule conversion, and is on track to meet the General Student
conversion in February. As of the end of the month, staffing issues for the team had
been resolved. Also the project plan for the R&R module was thoroughly reviewed
and analyzed, giving the project management team a necessary tool for supporting the
team’s continued progress. The high volume of work in the spring, as well as the
number of different critical paths that must be pursued simultaneously, creates some
intrinsic project risks that will continue to be the focus of project management’s
attention for the near term.
Accounts Receivable: The AR team continues to make excellent progress toward its 2007 target go-live. The team has sustained excellent task initiation and completion
rates and the team is fully staffed.
? Project communications in November focused on faculty and academic
departments. Nancy Dunbar, Banner Project Owner and either Rob Fitzgerald or
Sherry Gubata from the Registrar’s office visited twenty-five departments and
committees in November; nearly 20 more are scheduled in December. Student
meetings will occur in December as well.
? The Banner Project web page provides regular project updates.
High-level project risks will continue for much of the implementation period. Project
staffing, reporting, and project complexity are risk themes that are constant and important
enough to warrant monthly commentary.
? Since the restart of the Banner Project in March, we have experienced a number
of challenges arising from the loss of key project personnel. The Project
Management Team, where possible, has worked with Brown office directors to
develop contingency plans and strategies, although we recognize that the project
remains vulnerable to staff changes, especially at critical project junctures.
Staffing gaps in November were adequately managed and did not significantly
impact the project schedule.
? Banner reports are critical to the business practices of all offices using Banner.
Staffing of the Reporting Team is nearly complete and we have made progress in
terms of monitoring and tracking the development of reports. Nonetheless, most
Banner modules are behind in report development. Since we anticipate that the
demand for reports will continue to grow, this is an area of the project that the
management team must watch carefully.
? Project complexity increases monthly. As each module moves into production,
more project members confront production issues, while also remaining actively
involved in overall project work. Second, the data conversions associated with
Registration and Records are extremely complicated and will affect many offices.
Third, in addition to data conversion, the Technical Team is developing many
new interfaces, managing product installations and upgrades, and overseeing
performance testing. Fourth, the demands on the Reporting Team’s time expand
with each element of the implementation. And finally, on campus, there are
multiple demands for information, training and support, particularly focusing on
the pre-registration milestone.
Looking Ahead to December:
? The Registration and Records team will celebrate it's first milestone with the
completion of the Catalogue/Schedule conversion in early December.
? The Banner implementation includes a technical project called “Performance
Testing” intended to test the capacity of the overall system to sustain the load
expected during peak use periods. One period of peak demand occurs when
applicants log on to Banner to learn whether they have been admitted.
Performance testing began in November and will be completed in December and
will help us evaluate our readiness for that event.
? On-campus discussions of Banner with academic departments will continue.
Student and community discussions for January and February will be planned.
? The Banner Steering Committee will continue planning “Phase II” Banner
projects. In planning the Banner implementation, the project team prioritized
essential functionality for all of the student offices for Phase I of the project
(which continues through December, 2007). Consequently, there are many uses of
Banner that are highly desirable but not yet built. All of these items will be
evaluated, prioritized, budgeted and planned from Phase II.
Banner Project Management Team: Nancy Dunbar, Project Owner
David Whiting, Project Director
John Styer, Deputy Director
Cindy Blair-Miller, SunGard Rep